In today’s Gospel Jesus gives me a few lessons about prayer and faith. I will pretend I am the official. My son is dying far from where I am. I seek out Jesus to cure him. So, prayer is having a desperate need for something and expressing that need, not covering it up.
In the Gospel Jesus gives an objection to the official’s request. He seems to want to change the topic of conversation. The official is not put off; he persists, renewing his request. He teaches me perseverance in prayer deepens my faith, purifies it.
Next, Jesus tells him his son is cured. How does he know he is cured? He doesn’t see him. But he is convinced because Jesus tells him so. That’s true faith, believing in what I do not see at the moment, but having confidence in Jesus who hears my desperate pleas. That’s prayer; that’s faith.
The first reading invites me to reflect that I am progressing toward the happiness of heaven; thanks to the purification Jesus gives my faith and prayer here on earth.